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Celebrating our enterprising students

29 June 2004

Celebrating our enterprising students

Hon Jim Anderton Speech for BP Community Enterprise Programme's Winners’ lunch
12.45PM Tuesday, 29 June 2004 BP House, 20 Customhouse Quay, Wellington

Peter Griffiths, BP CEO, Teacher Alison Waugh, students, Allex, Danielle, Rose and Rose.

It’s a pleasure to be here to celebrate your achievement with this project.

The appealing feature of the Community Enterprise Project is the link it makes between two very important features of our society – enterprise, and community.

There is no shortage of people to tell you each of these is important.

But in fact, neither can truly succeed without the other.

We can learn a lot about ourselves and about New Zealand by thinking about enterprise and the community.

Enterprise means having a vision and taking initiative to achieve it.

New Zealanders are good at dreaming – we’re good at thinking of how things might become.

It’s because we’re a long way from most of the world’s population, we’re accustomed to having the freedom to try things out.

Having a vision is vital; having initiative to achieve it is something more.

Things only happen when individuals take responsibility and make things happen; when they show leadership and initiative.

If Enterprise explains ‘what’ needs to be done, then ‘community’ explains why we need to do it.

Everything we do in our community rests on the wealth we create.

Our health care, our education, our security, our leisure activities are all made possible by our industry.

The better we are at creating wealth, the more we have to enjoy.

Fortunately, having a strong, cohesive community helps enterprise as well.

Enterprise works best when we work together to make the most of our talents and our opportunities.

The competition you have won celebrates all these values.

It encourages initiative and also strategic thinking.

It helps to spread the message about the value of enterprise to our whole community.

I’d like to pay tribute to BP for its support of the project, in an example of a constructive partnership between industry and the community.

NZ Trade and Enterprise is also a sponsor of the enterprise studies programme.

It’s the agency the government set up to work with industry, and to create a more enterprising New Zealand.

I’m also going to pay tribute to the Enterprise New Zealand Trust for its work in spreading the pro-Enterprise message.

The Trust does valuable work helping us to celebrate success.

It has a mission to better inform New Zealanders about the role of enterprise and business in our society.

It’s a role I fully support.

Your school and your teacher have supported you in the project.

It’s great to see the education community reflecting its pivotal role in our community and working with other community organisations and with business in this way.

And I would like to pay tribute to you, as students, for your success.

I hope you’ve learned skills you can use in the future.

It’s up to all of us to fulfil our own potential.

If there was one empowering message I could give every young person, it is that everyone can fulfil their own potential.

Only you can do what you do.

Only you can make the contribution you make.

Your contribution is unique.

Others can copy it, but they cannot replace it.

It’s not about what school you went to, or what advantages you start out with.

It is about what you want to be.

It is about making the most of your individual talents and being all that you can be.

I believe you are lucky to be growing up in New Zealand when you are.

This country has an exciting future.

If there is one challenge I have for you, it is the challenge to dream.

I challenge you to hope and to dream about your future and about New Zealand.

We have to deal with the way things are, yes.

But don't stop with the way things are; dream of the way they should be.

Use your hope and imagination as your guide.

Where will your dreams take you guide you?

What will New Zealand be like?

Will it be a country where people love each other and welcome everyone?

Will it be a country where no one goes without the things they need?

Where no one goes hungry, no one goes without a home, no one goes without a job?

Dream of that, because your dreams can create that future.

You can make those dreams real.

Well done in this competition.

And thank you to everyone who has made it possible through their effort, initiative and support.

ENDS

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